– Lava destroys hundreds of other buildings in La Palma
The incandescent rocks flow faster and more violently than the volcano on the Canary Island. One researcher says this may be a good sign.
Lava flows from the volcano on the Canary island of La Palma destroyed a total of 1,817 buildings by Saturday. State television station RTVE, citing the European Earth observation system Copernicus, reported that this was 269 more than at the last count on Thursday. However, nothing was known about any new evacuations.
The lava flow became much more violent and faster. Even the Volcanic Institute of the Canary Islands, Involcan, tweeted about a “lava tsunami” in light of the amazing video recordings. However, geologist Jose Mangas, a professor at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, emphasized that this picture is a bit crooked. “In this case, we cannot talk about a tsunami, but about pyroclastic flows of more than 1,200 degrees, which are very fast due to the steep terrain,” he said on state television station RTVE.
Volcanologist Juan Carlos Carracedo even suspected that the eruption, which lasted for about four weeks, had leveled off: lava would now drain out of the volcano without a hitch until the pressure subsided. But when this is the case it cannot be said.
Several light earthquakes with a force of up to 4.5 shook the island, which is home to about 85,000 people. Since the beginning of the eruption in the Cumbre Vieja volcanic chain in southern La Palma, more than 7,000 people have been forced to leave their homes below the volcano and reach safety. Meanwhile, lava and ash cover an area of 700 hectares. This corresponds to about 980 football fields. No one has been seriously injured yet.
Sometimes the ash was so high that only the top of the chimney got stuck in the houses. According to the operator Aina, the island’s airport was still operating. Flights to and from neighboring islands are advertised online. Air traffic on the other large tourist islands of the Canary Islands – Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria or Lanzarote – was running normally.